Posts Tagged ‘maker faire’
Maker Faire New York was an incredible amount of fun! Our table consisted mainly of three RoboBrrds, Seagull, Impy, and Camouflage.
The kids really enjoyed interacting with the RoboBrrds. With Impy, the NFC hats interaction trick never gets old. I love watching how the younger kids are able to connect the hat to the action what the RoboBrrd is doing, then try the different hats and see what they do.
We started off Maker Faire with Education Day. This day is actually my ultimate favourite, mainly because it is really structured with kids going around to the tables and being very polite when asking questions.
The response from the kids and educators was great. It was really nice to have them interact with all the RoboBrrds, and be inspired by the robots. One of the observations that stuck out to me is that with RoboBrrd, the girls asked more questions than the boys. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case just yet, either the boys thought it was too easy and weren’t interested, or the girls were interested and wanted to figure out how they can make one.
This year it took place inside the big blue room, aka the grande hall. This room rocks and makes RoboBrrd look all sciencey.
For the big day on Saturday and Sunday, we were located in the Central Pavillion, lower level, nearest to the staircase as people finished climbing down. This was a really awesome spot and it gained a lot more attention than being in the little room in the back did last year.
Here is how our table was set up:
^ pic from jbc
Seagull RoboBrrd was acting as the stress test for the kit version. To interact with it, you have to shake it. So I was handing it over to kids who would then shake the RoboBrrd all around, grabbing onto its wings and such. It never broke! Seagull RoboBrrd lasted through Maker Faire. This is great news
Impy over here could interact via the hats and the iPad. I had a switch so that I could toggle what mode it was in. The iPad communication worked flawlessly, and the hats always triggered a great response from the kids.
Next up was Camouflage RoboBrrd (named because it is almost the same shade of green felt as the table cloth– thanks for the name idea Windell!). This RoboBrrd used a really simple way to interact via a distance sensor. If you move close enough to it, then it will act hyper. Either way, it does a random action every 2 seconds or so. This one was made at the last minute on Friday, so a big thank you to Chris for the distance sensor!
It was great that there were many people interested in many different detailed aspects of RoboBrrd. There were some that were really interested by the iPad aspect, CAD, EDA, etc. I had my iPhone displaying the Autodesk 360 model of RoboBrrd, and also had the model displayed on paper (from Maker Faire Bay Area 2012!).
Another great thing was having the pieces for the kit there. Some kids actually even started building up a RoboBrrd just from looking at the CAD model on the iPhone! It was pretty cool. A really great way to illustrate how the RoboBrrd can be built up.
Laser cut artwork is always a hoot. Here are two examples of that:
One of my highlights was seeing Jeri again (she’s a big inspiration for me), meeting even more people I knew online but not in person, goofing around with my friends, meeting more friends, waving to all my friends. Basically, just being with all my friends! It’s so cool to have friends
Speaking of friends, check out macetech’s glasses on RoboBrrd! SWEEEEEET!
There were a lot of great instances of funny interactions with the people who came up to my table. My favourite is when I tell the kids about the robots, say that Seagull RoboBrrd has to be shaken to work, the kids reach out to pick it up, then the parents say ‘NO don’t touch!’. I always laughed and remarked about who was actually listening.
The craziest moment was on Sunday when the rain hit. Everyone swarmed inside and it was completely insane but totally fun! Actually it was thanks to Luis who popped over and watched my table for a bit while I escaped for a few moments on Sunday.
The crazy part… when I came back, there was a red ribbon on the table? What is this? It was an Educators Choice Award! Wow, this is a pretty big honour for RoboBrrd and I. We try really hard to get more people interested in robotics with the cute and cuddly nature of RoboBrrd. Having our efforts up to that point recognized by Maker Faire was amazing. It does truly mean a lot.
When I brought home the ribbons, all of the RoboBrrds gathered for a group shot around the original RoboBrrd:
We’re still going to try and spread the joy of robotics even more. With the RoboBrrd kit finished and coming out at some point in the near future, I’m really interested in seeing how well it will take off.
We had a lot of support from numerous people at Maker Faire giving out some interesting things. Thank you to everyone! Notably, thanks Chris Connors for the ‘Fashioning Technology’ book, which will hopefully teach me how to make the soft e-textile sensors that I want to put on RoboBrrd! Thanks Joey for the free kit, this is a really generous action as it does cost a lot of money to give out a kit like that! And thanks to Kevin Osborn for the components for some of the RoboBrrd Brain Board build. Thanks Brett for the useless machine! Also thanks to my friend from RedBearLabs for the BLE shield.
There are so many more that I can go on and on about for ages! Thanks for the goodies, I really appreciate it, and I will make something with them!
^ pic from jbc
Maker Faire NY was fantastic! Thank you to everyone who made this adventure possible. Special thanks to Andrew & family for letting RoboBrrd and I stay over, Andrew (clothbot) for driving RoboBrrd & I back safe and sound. Thanks mpng for bringing me some food, I probably would have passed out if it wasn’t for food!
Last but not least, thanks to the person who made it all possible by donating some last minute funds! To think that we almost didn’t make it to Maker Faire. This was an amazing journey!
I’m looking forward to sharing the latest news about RoboBrrd with everyone. Stay tuned!
We were at Montreal Mini Maker Faire and it was a huge success! There were many people that showed up at the event, and there was a good amount of makers there!
Here are all of the RoboBrrds on the table!
We had Impy RoboBrrd going with the different hats, and the black RoboBrrd (Penguin Brrd? Stealthy Brrd?) was going through some motions. There were lots of kids who grabbed on to the black RoboBrrd and break its wings, but the wings were still going the whole day! This is great for knowing that the little armatures for the RoboBrrd kit will work pretty well
Stealthy RoboBrrd is so stealthy… <_< ... >_> … (teehee)
We also had MANOI blinking its necklace on Sunday! I had to take out the Arduino ADK from Learning Pet (blue RoboBrrd) and swap it for the DUE. There were some weird issues that I’ve been having with the DUE, so I need to investigate it more.
This picture here is kind of funny because everything isn’t set up yet!
One of my favourite things of Montreal Mini Maker Faire other than my RoboBrrds was the learn to solder tent by SpikenzieLabs. They sent me down two RoboBrrd badges beforehand, it was really cool:
For the weekend, they had oodles and oodles of these badges with ‘Montreal Mini Maker Faire’ on them. People were soldering the entire time. It was awesome! And it wasn’t just the kids, but also old people too! It completely blew my mind, it’s a strong maker spirit to do that.
Here is a randomly placed picture that has nothing to do with the above, just to make a transition to the next topic, woosh!
Getting to Montreal Mini Maker Faire was kind of hard from where I’m at right now. However, I was saved and able to make it there with much help of the sponsors, organizers, and volunteers! A big huge THANK YOU to those people!
The two people that were kind enough to let me stay with them were mega awesome. On Monday after Maker Faire, we went flying since they have a plane! How cool is that! We brought RoboBrrd along too!
RoboBrrd in the AIR! YEAH!!! WOOHOO!!!
Their 3D printers are awesome. I want an Ultimaker so badly, the print quality is awesome on it! We printed out a little wheel that I modified on OpenSCAD. No idea what I will do with it yet, but it is so cool! It was also really cool to hear the motors moving… mmm!
Here’s a pic of me at the end of Maker Faire, taken by the Lego NXT Wall-E guy! It was great fun, and I can’t wait until next year! Maybe it will be in the Montreal Science Centre!
Thank you so much to the organizers of Montreal Mini Maker Faire and the volunteers for making it all possible! I wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise, so it was really special! It was great meeting old friends, and making new friends as well. Excited already for next year! ^_^
Through a change in events, we will be at Montreal Mini Maker Faire! Be sure to check out the table with all the RoboBrrds, it will have a green table cloth at lots of cool robots!
Also be sure to check out the Spikenzie Labs learn to solder area, you get to make a really sweet badge!
I’ve made some hand-made cards for anyone who wants them! So be sure to come by and grab one Now I have to go and prepare all my robots! Hope to see everyone there and…
Get excited and MAKE THINGS!
Two days before Maker Faire (Education Day)… there was no stable design of RoboBrrd, there were material problems, and experiments still had to be done with attaching the servos.
With all the resources in the world pretty much available to me and tons of great help at Evil Mad Science, it turned out really good! I was able to create one RoboBrrd per night during Maker Faire. Here’s the timeline of the RoboBrrds!
Wednesday day and night: Phoenix RoboBrrd
Thursday night: Lightning RoboBrrd
Friday night: Aqua RoboBrrd
Saturday night: Plasma RoboBrrd
Here were some key points with the design of RoboBrrd that really impacted things.
Simplifying the design
Changing the numerous interlocking tabs for two overlapping corners made a huge difference in the time required for laser cutting and assembling.
By having the servos ‘suspended’ via a plate in the middle of the RoboBrrd, it was easy to extend a few of the pieces to the back plate, which eliminated the need for the corner pieces.
Since there were now 8 corner pieces (and the corresponding tabs for each!) eliminated, this also sped up the laser cutting time. Also saved wasted material space as well.
By having the design so simple, it was really easy to make a few quick changes in Inkscape, rather than having to re-’render’ everything in Inventor first. This was the case for the last of the RoboBrrds (Plasma), when I wanted a bit more space for the beak to open compared to the previous one (Lightning).
This was the frustrating part. For some reason the 1/4 inch mdf was not lasering very well at all. Also something is reminding me that it was pretty stressful too, with all the flames and everything.
The 1/4 inch poplar was cuttable, but there was some reason that it wasn’t that great. Probably something to do with the time to cut, or not cutting all the way through.
We went to Home Depot and picked up this 1/8 inch mdf sheet. It was the best laser cutting experience EVER! Even more than cardboard! With some quick changes in the RoboBrrd design, it was ready to be cut out, and it worked brilliantly.
From there it was smooth sailing. If anything could be recognized as a pinnacle moment, this was it.
Painting the pieces
By painting the pieces, it allowed for two things: 1) the assemblies to stand out more, 2) the friction to hold the pieces together.
By standing out more, it really brought attention to how interesting the designing is right now. This also meant we didn’t have to cover it in felt in order for it to be colourful.
There was no need to really glue anything (unless it was really loose) as the paint added enough thickness to be used to attach the pieces via friction. Sometimes this backfired though, especially when the paint was too thick.
Also this kind of took a large amount of time, but it was sort of relaxing for my brain, so it didn’t really matter. Usually I was replaying conversations I had during the day while painting, so it was pretty good!
By having little accents on RoboBrrd’s main features, it definitely added an aspect of unique-ness to each RoboBrrd. The cool part was that for most of them, it didn’t add on too much time to the cutting. They all finished in under 30 minutes (except for RoboBrrd Phoenix)!
The main inspiration for the themes came from the different Pokemon element types. I found that the kids really connected to the different themes, and the younger ones enjoyed distinguishing what each one was. One of them was able to explain what plasma is really well, which was pretty cool too!
It was fun to be able to have a new RoboBrrd each day at my table. New visitors were impressed with the rapid building of the prototypes. Returning visitors already knew I was crazy, so they were unsurprised.
Evolution of the table display:
Education Day (Thursday)
Setup Day (Friday)
Day 1 (Saturday)
Day 2 (Sunday)
With all this said, it did get pretty tiring for EMSL by the third and fourth night. And by pretty tiring I mean… they almost turned into ZOMBIES (joking). Thanks to them for being patient with the crazy RoboBrrd making during Maker Faire!
And now for a random time jump back into the future! ZWOOOP! If you want to be notified of more RoboBrrd news, join the RoboBrrd Mailing Scroll! News will be delivered straight from RoboBrrd’s beak and into your inbox!
Thanks for the fun everyone, and again huge thanks to Evil Mad Science!
It was a huge celebration of creativity! Many cool projects that inspired lots of people to go and create something new!
RoboBrrd had a great time at Maker Faire! The trick with the hats was a hit, and the new laser cut RoboBrrds gained much interest as well! A lot of students came away being inspired to make similar robots, and hopefully a RoboBrrd some day!
Also became a beta tester for the Arduino DUE
And won 2 Editor’s Choice awards, and an Awesome award!
Thanks everyone for the amazing weekend! This was truly a treat, and it was a ton of fun to meet everyone and hang out together. The Bring a Hack dinner was great
SEE EVERYONE NEXT YEAR! Hope to see everyone next year, 2013! Or possibly Maker Faire Kansas City and New York!
This was a triumph, making a note here: huge success
What are you waiting for? Start working on your next robot / project!
There will be a few more posts coming soon with more details about this wonderful Maker Faire. I made a RoboBrrd each night during Maker Faire, so will definitely be blogging about that! Woop woop, more later!
We are located in Expo Hall in the corner down near the back! We have a lime green tablecloth and RoboBrrds, it will be hard to miss.
Come and see our newest RoboBrrd! LightningBrrd aka RC/DC aka Sparky Sparrow!
FireBrrd will be there!
WIN AN EXCLUSIVE ROBOBRRD!
Hope to see you at Maker Faire Bay Area 2012!
I’ll be putting up lots of tutorials on MAKE: Projects, and if you like them a lot, then you can donate on my Maker Faire page here. Since getting to Maker Faire Bay Area is almost impossibly expensive, I wanted something to show for my efforts anyway in case it doesn’t work out :p
The first tutorial in the series is Instant Nature: Quick & Peaceful! If you ever get annoyed at the whir of your computer fans… this one is for you. It combines Hotkeys for Arduino with the Adafruit Wave Shield (my 3rd fav shield)! You can check it out on MAKE: Projects.
Also Instant Nature was mentioned up in the New on MAKE: Projects post on the MAKE: blog! WOOHOO! Thanks!